New Guard

It's Not Magic

Some things go over his head

Deaglan’s quiet self-reflection (or ‘moping’, as the people of Earth call it) in the gardens had become the norm for Deaglan’s Saturdays. However, this time he was ruminating over the cellular device he had bought days before the ‘Escape Room’, and its delinquent protector, sold to him by the man using the strange honorific. It was nothing like the golem of Mrs. Dugan, and it certainly wasn’t humanoid in shape. The small protector even had instructions for disassembly, not that it mattered for one like himself; he wasn’t a wizard of any sort, and only knew what little magic his father taught him. Even figuring out the device itself was a chore and seemed more arcane than things from the City of Silver. He at least figured out how to turn the lantern on and off, but that did little to console him, nor help him fit in.

He began fidgeting with the device, toying with the search bar, pretending he knew what he was doing. There seemed to be a stigma associated with being "out of the loop’, and he certainly wasn’t willing to ask anyone from the escape room, and certainly not Alea. The former would invite embarrassment and ridicule, and the later, well… She would be certain to lord it over him. His nose wrinkled at the thought, the expression lingering briefly before an idea sprung from his head. Alea was asking Angel about something when he chanced upon them before. Probably something Earth related, given the context of the conversation as well as Alea and himself both sharing (and initially bonding over) a lack of knowledge about what Detroit was. That was it! Perhaps he could ask Angel, avoiding the ridicule all together.

Deaglan found her not far from the church, waving and offering a smile. “Good morning! Do you have a moment?” The older girl glanced over to him, offering a smile in return.

“Sure, what’s up?”

“I need help. With a golem.”

Her smile melted into a frown, her brow lofting at his request. “A golem? Deaglan. Is this another prank like the one at the party?”

“Uh, no, not quiet. I bought a protector. For my phone? It isn’t animating, or doing anything for that matter.”

Angel stood with her arms crossed, her expression deadpanning as he continued. She held out her hand expectantly. “Give it here.”

Her expression caught him off guard, though he handed her the protector readily. Within seconds she opened it up and she held her other hand out. “And your smartphone.”

Deaglan hesitated briefly before handing his cellphone over. As she settled it into the protector, regret was already starting to set in.

“It’s a protector, Deaglan, it goes around the phone. Didn’t it have a manual? This isn’t magic, it’s technology.” She held out the newly encapsulated phone.

Deaglan meekly accepted the phone as his cheeks flushed in embarrassment. “I… right. I accidentally lost it,” he lied. “Thank you. I can use it with peace of mind, now.”

As Deaglan began hurriedly turning away, a hand on his shoulder gave him pause and he turned his head once more to Angel. “Don’t worry,” she said with a reassuring smile. “It takes everyone a little bit of time to get used to things.”

Now, even more unsure what to do, Deglan stammered out something about a class assignment being due. He wasn’t even positive the words came out in the correct order! His cheeks were so red from the rush of blood, that he feared his head might pop off!

There was no ridicule, but there was so much embarrassment! Yet, when he thought back on it later, he smiled.

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barrelv Jherden

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